SOCIALLY ENGAGED COMPANIES$SEE 4X GREATER BUSINESS IMPACT

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SOCIALLY ENGAGED COMPANIES$SEE 4X GREATER BUSINESS IMPACT

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SOCIALLY ENGAGED COMPANIES$SEE 4X GREATER BUSINESS IMPACT

  1. 1.    Contact:  Tishy  Bryant                 FOR  IMMEDIATE  RELEASE  Tel.  512/582-­‐7450                   March  26,  2012  Email:  tbryant@pulsepointgroup.com    NEW  STUDY:  SOCIALLY  ENGAGED  COMPANIES  SEE  4X  GREATER  BUSINESS  IMPACT  PulsePoint/Economist  Research  Reveals  What  Separates  High  and  Low  Performers    Austin,  Texas  –  Companies  that  fully  embrace  social  engagement  are  experiencing  four  times  greater  business  impact  than  less-­‐engaged  companies,  according  to  a  new  study  conducted  by  PulsePoint  Group,  a  management  and  digital  consulting  firm,  in  collaboration  with  The  Economist  Intelligence  Unit.    The  research  identifies  six  types  of  socially  engaged  enterprises  and  provides  insights  for  organizations  that  want  both  to  measure  themselves  against  peers  and  find  the  right  strategy  for  improving  business  and  economic  impact  from  their  investments  in  social  engagement.    “We  believe  this  research  is  essential  to  assure  companies  that  their  investments  in  social  engagement  can  be  rewarded,  provided  they  do  it  right,”  said  Paul  Walker,  a  partner  with  Austin-­‐based  PulsePoint  Group.    “We  felt  this  was  an  opportune  time  to  conduct  this  research  and  to  focus  on  C-­‐suite  executives,  because  it  is  clear  that  there  is  a  growing  list  of  high-­‐performing  companies  that  are  achieving  superior  economic  returns  from  the  use  of  social  engagement  with  key  internal  and  external  constituents,”  Walker  continued.    “We  believe  we  are  seeing  an  inflection  point  at  which  many  organizations  are  moving  from  an  experimentation  phase  with  social  technologies  to  achieving  tangible  and  measurable  returns  on  the  investments.    Most  notably,  they  are  achieving  enterprise-­‐level  scale  that  is  impacting  marketing  and  sales  efficiency,  increased  sales  and  market  share,  and  speed  to  market  with  new  products.  ”      Social  Engagement  Defined  A  socially  engaged  enterprise  actively  engages  constituents  (employees,  customers,  partners,  and  other  stakeholders)  in  meaningful  conversations  –  enabled  by  social  technologies  –  so  that  both  parties  benefit.    This  mutual  exchange  of  value  is  not  just  about  products  but  about  useful  information  that  builds  commonality  of  interests  and  a  sense  of  trust.      The  study,  “The  Economics  of  the  Socially  Engaged  Enterprise,”  conducted  in  February  2012,  found  that  in  the  most  socially  engaged  companies,  the  Chief  Executive  Officer  and  other  C-­‐suite  executives  are  the  vital  advocates  for  cultural  change  that  drives  deeper  levels  of  engagement.      The  study  found  that  a  traditional  focus  on  listening  centers  and  influencer  engagement,  two  of  the  primary  enablers  of  this  initial  transformation,  are  now  the  price  of  entry  for  the  most  advanced  socially  engaged  enterprises.    The  research  revealed  specific  economic  or  business   1
  2. 2. impact  values  across  10  distinctive  social  engagement  activities.    “The  research  let  us  develop  and  test  a  formula  for  what  combinations  of  social  engagement  activities  organizations  should  focus  on  to  improve  their  engagement  and  impact,”  said  Michael  Gale,  PulsePoint  Group  partner.  “Companies  need  a  more  prescriptive  path  forward  to  be  successful.  While  the  formula  is  quite  straightforward,  our  experience  shows  the  changes  required  will  not  be,  so  well-­‐defined  roadmaps  with  accountable  metrics  are  essential.”        More  than  three  hundred  C-­‐suite  and  senior  executives  were  surveyed  for  their  perspectives  on  social  engagement  including  definitions,  drivers,  barriers,  and  advocates  related  to  current  and  future  activities.  Key  findings  show:         • The  average  return  on  social  engagement  was  calculated  to  be  between  3-­‐5%.  The  most   engaged  businesses  are  reporting  a  calculated  7.7%  business  impact  specifically  from  social   engagement,  which  is  four  times  the  performance  of  the  lowest  performers  who  only   achieved  a  1.9%  estimated  return.     • The  top  two  areas  where  executives  thought  social  engagement  had  real  value  were   improved  marketing  and  sales  effectiveness  (84%)  and  increased  sales  and  market  share   (81%).     • C-­‐suite  advocacy  is  critical,  now  and  in  the  future.  Two-­‐thirds  of  the  organizations  achieving   the  highest  returns  reported  that  their  C-­‐suites  are  active  advocates–  that  is,  they  commit  to   social  engagement  as  a  strategy  and  they  reallocate  resources  to  make  it  happen.       • However,  a  full  28%  of  C-­‐suite  executives  still  don’t  believe  in  social  engagement.  And  the   number  one  reason?  The  inability  to  gauge  ROI  (45%).  For  engagement  to  work,  the  C-­‐suite   has  to  believe  in  it  and  see  measurable  returns.       • The  most  socially  engaged  segments  believe  that  widely  distributed  buy-­‐in  across  the   organization  –  and  beyond  marketing  and  communications  –  is  key  for  scale  and  generating   economic  business  impact.  This  even  includes  operations  management  and  financial   leadership.     • Executives  defined  social  engagement  today  as  online  listening  (28%),  blogging  (24%)  and   building  relationships  with  online  influencers  (21%).    But  the  top  performers  have  a  different   view  –  they  will  be  more  focused  on  ideas  and  action  in  the  next  two  years.  Big-­‐return   companies  crowdsource  new  products  (57%),  or  let  customers  participate  in  developing   ideas  -­‐-­‐  they  are  predicting  a  significant  portion  of  new  products  will  be  derived  from  social   engagement  insights.     • Fifty-­‐nine  percent  of  executives/managers  interviewed  say  that  young  people,  as  employees   and  customers,  will  expect  and  value  engagement;  that’s  what  is  driving  their  engagement   plans.  Fifty-­‐four  percent  say  that  customers’  expectations  of  social  engagement  are  driving   their  plans.       • In  order  for  companies  to  know  whether  their  investments  are  providing  returns,   appropriate  metrics  need  to  be  developed.    The  research  indicates  that  benchmarks  (33%)   and  key  performance  indicators  (30%)  will  be  the  top  approaches  for  measuring  social   engagement  in  the  next  two  years.    Today,  many  companies  are   2
  3. 3. depending  on  executive  intuition  (27%)  or  are  simply  not  measuring  impact  (28%).     “The  ability  to  measure  the  right  mix  of  socially  engaged  activities  has  let  us  create  an  economic   value  formula  for  what  organizations  can  and  should  invest  in,”  Gale  said.     PulsePoint  Group  will  discuss  the  study  in  more  detail  -­‐  and  next  steps  for  executives  and  marketers   -­‐  in  a  webinar  in  collaboration  with  BrightTALK,  on  Thursday,  April  19  at  1  p.m.  EDT.  Register  for  the   webinar  and  learn  more  about  The  Socially  Engaged  Enterprise  at:   http://www.sociallyengagedenterprise.com.     About  PulsePoint  Group   PulsePoint  Group  is  a  management  and  digital  consulting  firm  that  provides  insight,  strategy   development  and  strategic  execution  for  communications  and  marketing  management  challenges,   with  a  special  focus  on  social  and  digital  engagement.  PulsePoint  Group  specializes  in  C-­‐suite  and   boardroom-­‐level  consulting.  Combining  its  creativity  and  deep  experience  with  rigorous  research,  it   transforms  data  derived  from  cutting-­‐edge  metrics  into  actionable  recommendations.  This  approach   has  made  it  a  trusted  advisor  to  many  of  the  Fortune  100.  http://www.pulsepointgroup.com.           ###         3

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